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Chelsey Byers

Chelsey Byers
Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Specialist

905 S Goodwin Ave 520 Bevier Hall, Urbana IL 61801

Program Areas
Consumer and Family Economics
Family Life
Illinois Nutrition Education Programs
Nutrition and Wellness

As a University of Illinois Extension specialist for Family and Consumer Sciences, Chelsey Byers provides oversight of statewide projects and leadership to professional staff across the state in family, finances, food, and health. Byers promotes and supports Extension work by establishing and facilitating relationships with campus faculty across the University of Illinois system, statewide partners, and other stakeholders. Byers onboards new FCS educators and fosters staff development of the FCS team. Byers promotes the FCS narrative to internal and external stakeholders through stories, reports, and newsletters. She manages FCS web content. She also is an active collaborator in multiple grants.

Before becoming a state specialist, Byers served as an Extension Educator for sixteen years, providing research-informed, community-based programming to promote health and well-being across the lifespan to promote optimal aging. Byers has research expertise in brain health and care interventions for people living with dementia. In addition to brain health, Byers has developed and provided countless programs to promote healthy living, stress reduction, and well-being across the lifespan.

Before her work with Extension, she worked as a Professional Education Coordinator for the Alzheimer's Association, St. Louis Chapter. In that role, she was responsible for curriculum development and educating healthcare workers, emergency responders, and family members about various aspects of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. She was actively involved in planning and presenting at regional and state conferences. Before getting her Master's Degree, Byers was a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) in the memory care unit at the Illinois Veteran's Home in Manteno, IL.

Byers earned a bachelor's degree in recreation administration from Eastern Illinois University in 199 and a master's in gerontology from Eastern Illinois University in 2004. One of Byers's favorite parts of her work with Extension is staying current on research and trends in her area of concentration. She has recently finished her coursework for her doctoral degree in public administration from the University of Illinois, Springfield. She is currently in the "all but dissertation" (ABD) phase as she researches how Extension programming can offer the characteristics and benefits of third place to older adults.

Professional Affiliations:

Byers's professional associations include the National Extension Association of Family of Consumer Sciences, the Illinois Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, and Epsilon Sigma Phi.

Select Efforts: